Black Lung Fund Faces Threat


On this West Virginia Morning, amid a surge in cases of black lung disease, concerns are rising about the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which provides federal benefits to some coal miners with the disease.

A tax that funds those benefits is scheduled to fall by over 50 percent at the end of the year unless Congress acts. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there’s a plan to keep the trust fund from sliding further into debt. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Sydney Boles has more.

Also on today’s show, the team from the Us & Them radio show has been tracking the opioid problem here in West Virginia and in other parts of America, too. Tonight at 8 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting, host Trey Kay and producer Mitch Hanley introduce us to “Steve” — not his real name — a young man in New Hampshire who battled addiction. We hear an excerpt of that story.

And A federal conservation program that’s helped pay for neighborhood parks and big attractions like the Gettysburg battlefield just expired. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Amy Sisk examines what’s at stake if Congress does not reauthorize funding.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.